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Tracking The Double EagleLast summer a trio of aeronauts made aviation history. Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson and Larry Newman, all of Albuquerque, New Mexico, piloted their balloon Double Eagle I1 from Presque Isle, Maine to Miserey, France, some 50 miles from Paris. They were the first to negotiate a successful Atlantic crossing in a freeflying balloon after a score of attempts over a span of more than a century. A year earlier, Abruzzo and Anderson had made an unsuccessful try in their predecessor balloon Double Eagle. On that occasion, a NASA-developed satellite beacon helped save their lives. Carried aboard the balloon, the simple, seven-pound beacon continuously transmitted signals to NASA's Nimbus-6 satellite. Nimbus relayed the signals to monitors at Goddard Space Flight Center, enabling Goddard to compute the balloon's position. Position reports were then telephoned regularly to Double Eagle's control center at Bedford, Massachusetts. This monitoring system proved invaluable when the balloon encountered trouble several days after liftoff.
Document ID
Document Type
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
February 1, 1979
Publication Information
Publication: Spinoff 1979
Subject Category
Technology Utilization And Surface Transportation
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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